DOH calls for deployment of mobile clinics vs COVID-19

Published April 28, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has called for the deployment of mobile clinics to provide health care services to communities living under the coronavirus-related quarantine.
Mobile clinics can be deployed by local government units (LGUs) as a “flexible option” to treat people seeking medical attention, according to Duque.
Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (Facebook)
Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (Facebook)
“For the mobile clinic for LGUs, it should be a self-contained vehicle equipped with a medical team that can provide healthcare services. Mobile clinics may be a flexible and viable option for treating isolated and vulnerable groups, especially during the enhanced community quarantine,” he said during a meeting with President Duterte on Monday.
He noted that several local government units have started rolling out mobile clinics to address the health requirements of their constituents.
He reminded the local authorities about certain health protocols in the deployment of mobile clinics in their areas. The guidelines include proper personal protective equipment for health workers as well as the deployment of security forces to prevent overcrowding in the mobile clinic area.
“The considerations in setting up mobile clinics are the following: the doctor consultation setup must include use of face shield; consultation booth with protective plastic coverings; healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists must follow the one meter distance from patients and wear face mask during consultations,” Duque said.
He said the presence of security personnel is also “essential to control the crowd, specifically the patients seeking consultation.”
“Lastly, the number of patients to be accommodated by the mobile health team should be limited to prevent mass gathering of people which is consistent with our guidelines in the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine,” he said.
The proposed roll out of mobile clinics in communities came amid the country’s rising cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which have reached the 7,000 mark, prompting authorities to continue to enhance healthcare facilities and resources such as testing capacity.
The government has also converted several buildings into temporary quarantine and isolation centers to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.
President Duterte recently warned hospitals against turning away people in need of medical attention. He said government hospital officials may face suspension or dismissal if they refuse to provide initial treatment to patients.